Are you feeling bitter? Resentful of those around you with “perfect” lives? Jealous of your friends who still have their husbands when you don’t?
I see this in my clients a lot.
They’re bitter because he was taken from them too soon. Because their kids don’t have a dad. Because they’re doing it all alone. Because this was not their dream. Because it’s unfair.
I get it. I really do. But here’s the thing… feeling bitter isn’t helping.
Bitterness makes you miserable.
It robs you of your power and joy.
And guess what?
Bitterness is a choice.
(Here’s the part where you get mad at me and tell me I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.)
The good news:
1) You’re not feeling bitter on purpose.
2) You can get rid of it.
If you’ve accidentally practiced thinking bitter feeling thoughts, your brain is good at creating bitterness. This is what brains do. But just as you create bitterness with your thoughts, you can create something else.
Step 1: Identify the thoughts creating your bitterness. Write “I’m bitter because…” at the top of a piece of paper. Start writing all the reasons you’re bitter and don’t stop until you fill up the paper.
Step 2: Go back and circle the facts of what you’ve written. What could we agree on in a court of law? What is written on the paper that everyone in the entire world would agree on? Most of us will circle 3-5 things max. What remains are your thoughts.
Step 3: Ask yourself if you’re willing to let go of these thoughts so you can feel better. Pick a bitterness-inducing thought and for a solid week, every time you think it, tell yourself, “I notice my brain keeps telling me (insert bitter-inducing thought here) and that’s ok. There are other thoughts I can choose.” This will begin to generate awareness for you.
Like a fish that doesn’t know it lives in water, we’re so use to thinking our thoughts we don’t realize we’re choosing them. Bitterness is just a habit that can be changed like any other.